What company to purchase rolling mill

I’ve finally saved the money to purchase a rolling mill and the
Durston Combo C100 RE seems to meet my needs; I’m have some
experience under my belt and at least understand the perimeter of
how to select one. My question is what company to buy from? Also for
those of you who are ‘pros’ what is the thing wish you had gotten or
done differently when you ordered when you bought your mill?


My question is what company to buy from? Also for those of you who
are 'pros' what is the thing wish you had gotten or done
differently when you ordered when you bought your mill? 

I got my Durston C-150 from Frei and Borel and would buy from them
again (I do, quite often in fact). I wish now I had paid just shy of
twice as much money and gotten the D4-158. Nothing wrong with the
C-150, it is an extraordinarily fine piece of equipment, it’s just
the D4-158 is more than twice as much mill with far more than twice
the capabilities, and dollar for dollar is a much better value. At
the time I bought it, I didn’t think I could justify the extra
expense and that the C-150 could handle just about anything I was
likely to throw it’s way. Now I think “I wish I knew then what I know
now!” I work at or near its maximum capacity far more than I ever
would have thought.

Because a Durston mill can be a one-time, life-time purchase, my
only advice is to buy the most mill you can. If you care for it well,
a Durston mill will easily last for your entire career and then some,
so don’t compromise and get a smaller one thinking you’ll get a
bigger/better one later or that you won’t ever need anything bigger.
You will probably find, as I did, that you will use your mill for
more and more different kinds of tasks as you learn how to make
maximum use of it’s capabilities beyond just reducing sheet and wire.
You can always use a larger mill for smaller projects, but it doesn’t
always work the other way around. Upgrading later could cost you far
more in the long run.

All that said, you are going to love your Durston mill, no matter
which one you get or who you buy it from. Keep it clean, oiled and
covered and it will last as long as you do.

Dave Phelps

I got mine at Contenti in RI. Great people, great stuff. Wish I could
have bought the whole place out. haha.

I’m a newbie, and just joined this group. As far as the mill, sounds
like you have made a good decision on which mill to get. You can’t go
wrong with the Durston. Rio Grande is always a reliable company, but
one consideration is the shipping cost. They are pretty heavy, mine
is about 70lbs. So I ordered from Otto Frei because they had the one
I wanted in stock, and they are just north of me, so the shipping
would be less. Depending on where you are located, and where the
seller is located, that could make a difference.


Who do you buy from now? If no one in particular, search the Orchid
archive for a wealth of posts on the subjects, both mills and
suppliers. For sure not a pro, but my two “sense” worth: buy QUALITY,
you will not regret it. Secondly, buy as big as you can afford, this
too, you will not regret… from a “balmy Wisconsin.”

what is the thing wish you had gotten or done differently when you
ordered when you bought your mill? 

First, you need to determine what all you want to do with the
rolling mill. I got my first one just before I was going overseas
again for many years. I needed to be able to make wire, reduce metal
to a smaller gauge and roller print. That mill had 2" of flat roller
and 1" of wire and became limiting once I was back in the US and
could readily get wire or any gauge of metal quickly. I got a Durston
100 to have more rolling area. I inherited a motorized Cavilin with
6" flat rollers for rolling sheet. I use the Durston almost daily.
Your needs should determine which rolling mill you buy.

Donna in VA

dear Pat

in hind sight I would have loved to gotten in touch with Durston
themselves in the first place to get advice direct from them, Mathew
I think is running the company (Mat Durston), it is a family
business and they do take care of their customers very well, so they
may be able to tell you which vendor to go to for least amount of
shipping charges. or pick up. depending on where you are in the
world. i got mine from gold machinery. com ; there was the cheapest
shipping charges, but the 100 pound mill came in a flimsy card board
box via UPS and had been dropped off at my door and left there, i
found a gouge mark on the side of the mill and in inspecting the box
and the damage on it figured it had been dropped and abused due to
it’s weight. it is a precision tool that should not be abused in any
way. after 10 years it still works fine, i did let mat know about
that shipping issue. I think Cavalin ships theirs in or on (bolted)
wooden palettes with some secure wood framing around the mill top, in
case it gets dropped it won’t hurt the mill. Durston is very
sensitive to customer need and feed back, I would talk to them and
find out who they recommend.

good luck

Hi Patricia

My advice is to get a combination mill with gear reduction. A good
mill will last you forever. Get the best mill you can afford. Mine
is 15 years old and looks as new as the day I bought it. There are
two things that I did wrong when I bought my rolling mill:

  1. I bought one with no gear reduction box ie my mill is 1:1 rather
    than 4:1 (or 5:1). Saved me a few hundred dollars, which seemed wise
    at the time. So far it has not been a serious problem, but it does
    take a considerable amount of strength to roll large pieces if you
    do not have the reducing gears. I highly recommend spending the few
    hundred dollars to get the reducing gears.

  2. I bought a flat mill because at the time, I did not have a need
    to make my own wire. I have since started recycling my own gold and
    silver scrap, and have had to buy an econo mill (Pepe mill) to make
    half round and round wire.

The Duston C100RE that you are planning to buy has all of the
features that I did not think to have in my mill and is an excellent


Patricia; Ive had my Durston mill for over 15 years I love it I
recently had a problem which they were extremely helpful in
resolving. I highly recommed their products. RGA carries them. Mine
is just a plain mill with the extension wheels on the side which I
have never used. They now offer an economy mill without the

Dave Owen

I just bought a Durston C 130w/ extension rollers for Christmas. I am
a one person operation and consider my skill level to be just above
apprentice level. Yesterday was the first day using the mill. I went
from pouring an ingot from my scrap to half round ring in about 35
minutes. Then too k some 6 gauge copperand drew it down to 2mm half
round wire (extension rollers) - that took some time to get it drawn
down that small. Just want ed to see what I could do with the mill.
It is endless.I am so glad I did not buy an economy mill. I can tell
right now my skill level will never outgrow this mill. It was an
extremely expensive purchase for me and I will never regret my
purchase. I was looking at a $500 range different brand mill and the
Durston $800 range mill-I am glad I spent the extra and bought a mill
I could grow into. I bought it from Rio Grande only because they have
given me such good customer service. With an item that expensive if I
had a problem I did not want to deal with someone I was not familiar

Oh and the photos in the catalog do not do them justice: What a
beauty! Quality beyond what is usually made this day in age. Good
luck in purchasing your mill- hope this helps-

Joy Krusejoykruse.com